In a horrific episode of unanticipated violence, a 66-year-old man, was killed during a drive-by shooting in Washington Heights. He was caught off-guard while standing alongside his expectant daughter-in-law, a moment captured in chilling detail by nearby surveillance footage.
Reda Girgis, who had arrived in the U.S. just three days earlier to visit his son and daughter-in-law, was casually chatting on his phone when the dreadful incident occurred. He was standing outside ChopCheese Deli 2, his son’s establishment.
The surveillance video displays Girgis suddenly collapsing, sending a group of teenagers who were gathered nearby fleeing for safety.
Gamal Abouelezz, the deli manager, described the sound of gunfire as akin to firecrackers. His shock and horror were palpable as he relayed the details of Girgis’s untimely death. Girgis, he explained, had come from Egypt to rejoice in the forthcoming arrival of his grandchild.
The harrowing surveillance footage paints a grim picture of bystanders gathering around Girgis, who lay lifeless on the pavement, awaiting the arrival of paramedics. Despite their immediate intervention, Girgis was pronounced dead upon arrival at Metropolitan Hospital Center.
Eyewitnesses reported the assailants fleeing the scene in a dark gray SUV, possibly an Audi, bearing New Jersey license plates. No arrests have been made yet.
Abouelezz expressed his personal relief at narrowly escaping a bullet but was deeply aggrieved by the sudden loss of Girgis He lamented the escalating violence plaguing the city, a sentiment echoed by Francisco Marte, founder of the Bodega and Small Business Group.
In response to these growing concerns, a non-profit organization, the Small Business Security Initiative, recently unveiled a pilot program aimed at providing $1 million for security enhancements in South Bronx, Harlem, and Washington Heights bodegas.
Furthermore, Mayor Eric Adams has released a report on retail theft, calling for an increased police presence and monitoring of recurrent shoplifters.